1874 Alabama Press Association convention

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The 1874 Alabama Press Association convention was held Tuesday through Friday, May 19-22, 1874 in Birmingham, with members of the New York Press Association invited as special guests to tour the mineral wealth of the Birmingham District. The meeting was proposed by James Powell, who had invited the association to meet in Birmingham in 1873 and had there been made an honorary member of the organization. He took the opportunity to submit a motion to return to the city the following year and to invite the New York group.

The program, as reported in the Birmingham Iron Age, was as follows:

Tuesday, May 19:

  • Before 4:00 PM: Business meeting of the Alabama Press Association at Sublett Hall
  • 4:00 PM: Receive guests from New York Press Association and adjourn for dinner.
  • 8:00 PM: Readings and recitations by Priscilla Cooper Tyler Goodwyn, granddaughter of former President John Tyler

Wednesday, May 20:

  • 8:00 AM: Members and guests meet at Sublett Hall to travel by carriage to view outcroppings of red iron ore on Red Mountain, thence to the Water Works on Reservoir Hill and the pumphouse on Village Creek, to the city's free public schools, railroad shops, foundries, planing mills and other mechanical industries with the afternoon free to explore the city.

Thursday, May 21:

  • 8:00 AM: Members and guests to meet at railroad depot for special train to Blount Springs, stopping on the way to visit coal mines along the route, returning at 6:00 PM.

Friday, May 22:

Probably during the group's visit to Blount Springs, they were addressed by writer Mary Gordon Duffee at Powell's invitation. During the tours, Powell spoke with conviction about Birmingham's certain future as an industrial giant, and thereby sparked breathless reports, published across the globe, proclaiming that, in the words of one reporter, "The fact is plain. Alabama is to be the iron manufacturing center of the habitable globe."


  • "Programme, New York Press Association in Birmingham." (May 14, 1874) Birmingham Iron Age